joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

BEFORE and AFTER: Golden Silk Settee and Sage Green Embroidered Pillows























I recently delivered a large shipment of reupholstered furniture. There were two settees, two armchairs, and eight dining room chairs. The above settee is one of a matching set. The fabric is this gorgeous pale gold, striated silk. The pillows are a shimmery sage green fabric with light gold embroidery and gold welts. On settees or love seats, I usually do an 18 inch throw pillow. In this case I did four matching ones.

Below is the "before" shot.














































These are some beautiful "program" fabrics for another project I'm working on. I usually opt for C.O.M or customer's own material over program fabrics because the latter are seldom good quality. These are great exceptions, however. We will choose one fabric for two love seats and a separate fabric for the throw pillows.

The silk settee project is almost finished. I'm hoping the homeowner will let me photograph it.

A Day at the Design Center



















I love a productive day, particularly when it is relatively fast and easy. The San Francisco Design Center is one of my favorite places to source furniture, fabrics and accessories for my design clients. Today's project took me there in search of some great love seat options.
























I happened to spy the very attractive sectional sofa and chandelier above in one of my favorite showrooms.

I chose some amazing fabrics for love seats for a client. They are "program" fabrics which means they are fabrics provided by the love seat's manufacturer. Using program fabrics is one way to save money for my clients but I don't often use them because they are seldom as attractive or as good a quality as COM fabrics. Program fabrics are graded from A to Z. A being the least expensive and Z being the most.

I usually opt for "COM" fabrics which means "customer's own material". Those are the fabrics I purchase from companies that just manufacture fabrics. I can control the overall design and quality of the project with them because the choices are endless. The only downside is it is often more expensive to do it that way, mainly because COM grade is marked at around a G or an H, depending on how many grades there are within that program. COM grade is usually in the middle of the price range.

After an hour of shopping, I was finished and ready for a little lunch: a delicious, veggie wrap at Perry's in the Galleria building. It's tangy rice wine vinegar and soy sauce marinated eggplant nicely hit the spot.

Pasta with Summer Tomatoes...and Palu's Swinging Daybed
















The swinging daybed from Palu is one of this summer's biggest luxuries and it leaves me wishing I had  a big, old fashioned, wrap around, covered porch.

Summer has been especially cool this year in Northern California. As I write this missive, I'm wearing my heavy robe and a blanket. We have been enjoying it, however. David and I play singles tennis three mornings a week in beautiful wooded courts. It's neck and neck most games but occasionally he really whoops me and vice versa.

I've made so many vegetarian dishes with all the great California produce we get this time of year. But one in particular I want to share with my readers is my favorite, Pasta with Fresh Summer Tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. It's incredibly simple but oh so delicious. My late husband Jim created this recipe.

Enjoy!

Pasta with Fresh Summer Tomatoes

1 box low glycemic pasta (I like Dreamfield's)
7-8 large, vine ripened tomatoes
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves minced fresh garlic
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
handful grated fresh, quality Parmesan
optional, sprig chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Boil four to five cups of water and blanch the tomatoes for four minutes each. Remove the skins, quarter the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and juices with your fingers, and coarsely chop.

Put olive oil in large skillet on medium heat with tomatoes and garlic and cook just long enough to get hot, about five minutes. Stir often.  Spoon tomatoes over pasta and season to taste. Top with Parmesan.

SNEAK PEEK























This is an ongoing project I've been working on for over a year. The client (a very good friend of mine) collects the most wonderful China. A favorite pitcher, tea service and mismatched tea cups are displayed on this beautiful antique sideboard, near the entrance.


















The plate above the fireplace mantel is a very good piece. Mercury glass candlesticks and antique mantel clock look very sweet next to the botanical prints.























Red plaid chairs added a handsome dash of color to the mostly yellow and blue decor. I paid a visit recently for a glass of wine and it's really smashing together.

The rest of the house can be seen in the portfolio section of my website, Shiree Segerstrom by next week sometime. Click on my name, then click on Portfolio, then British Cozy.

BASKET CASE: Stylish Storage for Home or Office























I love baskets, and if you read my bi-weekly design column in the Sonora Union Democrat you know they're my favorite accessory, right up there with books.

My office is filled to the brim with fabric samples, fabric books, and a million other smallish items that need to be organized. Baskets address the problem in an attractive, professional looking way.


















I use different types of baskets for different jobs. The one above is lined with off white muslin. Because it's up high, I use it for storing items I don't often need.

The ones on the iron etagere' are tiny versions of the bigger one and they hold fabric samples.


















These great handled, flat baskets are perfect for my desk and table tops. They hold...you guessed it, more fabrics.















Other ways to use baskets are for holding greenery, business or personal files, purses and totes, toys, newspapers, magazines and office paraphernalia.









































My favorite type of accessory is something that's not only beautiful to look at but is one that offers function too. Baskets add texture, scale and homeyness which is why I have them in just about every room in the house.

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